What Does Your Christmas Eve Look Like?
I love hearing how people spend Christmas Eve.
My brother Doug and his family love preparing, and then eating, the most delicious gourmet appetizers. Then, after the evening feed, they all watch The Christmas Carol. I like talking to him on Christmas Day to hear the delectable details on what they ate the night before! Spending Christmas Eve at their place one year is on my bucket list 🙂
In years past, my Christmas Eve has been spent madly wrapping presents while watching It’s a Wonderful Life, The Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz on TV – all at the same time because I’d flip back and forth between the channels. I’ve never actually watched any of those movies straight through from start to finish, so this year I am going to sit down and watch just It’s A Wonderful Life in it’s entirety.
Christmas Eve was usually spent with my Mom and she LOVED when I would make her tuna casserole for dinner – served on china, of course. A few years ago, I told her that as much as I, too, love that casserole (it has potato chips in it – very ’60s), the time had come to create a new tradition. So instead, I made the world’s best chicken wings (I’m not kidding). See below for recipe.
Last year, however, I think I made my Mom her much-loved tuna casserole for old times’ sake – and I’m sure glad I did because it turned out to be her last Christmas!
But this year, I’m back to making wings for Christmas Eve dinner. I first tried these wings in 2005, when my Mom, my niece Kim and I went to Churchill, Manitoba to see the polar bears. We stayed at the Webber’s Wilderness Lodge and the two ladies who cooked for everyone – Helen Webber and Marie Woolsey – were outstanding cooks. So here’s their chicken wing recipe…and they DO disappear fast!
Jeanne’s Magic Disappearing Chicken Wings
(Recipe is from Blueberries & Polar Bears; Webber’s Northern Lodges Our Most Requested Recipes by Helen Webber and Marie Woolsey)
3 lbs chicken wings
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper
3 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. water
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1. Mix flour with salt & pepper in small, shallow pan.
2. Dip wings in beaten egg, then roll in flour mixture.
3. Place wings on a well-oiled baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 1/2 hour, or until well browned.
4. Remove the wings to a casserole or roaster.
5. Combine all sauce ingredients and pour evenly over wings.
6. Bake UNCOVERED, at 350 degrees F for 1 hour. Stir once during baking.
Serves 18-20 as a teaser or 8 for dinner.
Serving suggestion: At home we serve these as a meal with rice. This also makes a great dish to take to a potluck supper. These wings are best when the sauce thickens and becomes sticky. Make lots – they do a disappearing act!
The other thing I like to do on Christmas Eve is go to a late afternoon candlelight carol service. There is the cutest little Anglican church right on the water near Sidney that has a real cozy and warm feel. And the no-parking sign cracks me up. It reads: Thou Shalt Not Park.
When you have a moment (hah!), I’d love to hear your favourite Christmas Eve tradition/s.
In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas!
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Maryanne Pope is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. She is the author of A Widow’s Awakening and the executive producer of the documentary, Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here.